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The Mom Test
How to talk to customers
and learn if your business is
a good idea when everybody
is lying to you
Book by Rob Fitzpatrick
Short Summary
by Max Völkel v.2 2013-11-05
1

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
The Mom Test
How to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea when everybody is
lying to you – book by Rob Fitzpatrick – summary by Max Völkel

EnTechnon – INSTITUT FÜR ENTREPRENEURSHIP, TECHNOLOGIEMANAGEMENT UND INNOVATION

KIT – Universität des Landes Baden-Württemberg und
nationales Forschungszentrum in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

www.kit-gruenderschmiede.de
Introduction
Dr. Max Völkel

EnTechnon / KIT
www.xam.de
@xamde
max.voelkel2@kit.edu

3

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Introduction
Content Type

Icon

Content Type

Icon

Learning Objectives

1

Information

3

Agenda

2

Attention/Important to know

1

Learning Unit

1

Questions

4

Exercise

1

Summary

1

Case Study

1

Literature

1

1 Icon designed by Brightmix
2 Icon designed by Designmodo (http://designmodo.com) from
The Noun Project
3 Icon designed by Philipp Süß from The Noun Project
4 Icon designed by Juan Garces from The Noun Project

4

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Learning Objectives
After today‗s session you will be able to…
Do better customer conversations!
Based on „The Mom Test“ by Rob Fitzpatrick
momtestbook.com and foundercentric.com
Version 1.0 from August 1, 2013

Note: Talking to customers is a sub-topic of Customer Development.
You still need to read other books for the whole story.

All content is taken from the book. If it‗s wrong, I misunderstood it.

5

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Agenda
Introduction
What is the problem? - The Mom Test
How to talk?
To whom to talk?
Use your data
Summary

6

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
People try to be nice.
Therefore they lie in your face without realizing it.
Bad data is worse than no data.
E.g. „I would definitely buy that―
Let‘s look at an example.

THE PROBLEM

7

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
The Mom Test – What people say
You: Mom, I have a business idea. Do you have 5 minutes?
Mom: Of course, dear
…

You: You like your iPad and use it a lot?
Mom: Sure, it‘s great.
…

You: Would you buy a cookbook app?
Mom: I love cookbooks, sounds nice. Does it come with vegan recipes?
Or something special for Xmas?
…

8

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
The Mom Test – What people think
You: Mom, I have a business idea. Do you have 5 minutes?
Mom: Of course, dear
I‘m proud of you and I don‘t want to hurt your feelings

You: You like your iPad and use it a lot?
Mom: Sure, it‘s great.
I use it to check email on the sofa.

You: Would you buy a cookbook app?
Mom: I love cookbooks, sounds nice. Does it come with vegan recipes?
Or something special for Xmas?
Well, I have plenty of cookbooks. I don‘t need a computer in my kittchen – it might
get dirty! But hey, if my kid made it, I‘ll try. App? I never bought an app. Don‘t you
need to enter your credit card for that? Let me try to change the subject.

9

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
The Mom Test – How to do it right
You:
Mom, when have you last time used the iPad?
For what?
Have you ever used it in the kitchen?
Have you ever bought an app? Which? Why? For how much?
Do you use your cookbooks?
Is there anything you dislike about them?
What was the last cookbook you bought? When? Why?

10

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
HOW TO TALK?

11

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
What to Ask? Important Questions
Good
Imagine your company failed.
Why did it fail?
 questions
Imagine your company is a
huge success. Why?
 questions
Ask those questions
“You should be terrified of at
least one of the questions
you’re asking in every
conversation.”

12

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Bad
Deep inside, you are afraid your
idea might be crap.
So you ask bogus questions.

These are the 2
questions than can
convince your team
do use this whole
process at all

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
How to Frame the Conversation? Casual
Good: Keep it casual
Ideal: One non-meeting about
the 3 best questions
Instead of asking ―Do you have
time for a meeting with me?‖
ask simply your 3 questions,
casually, during a
conversation
Takes maybe 5-15 minutes.

Bad
Customer Development advises
to have 3 meetings:
1) the first about the customer
and their problem
2) the second about your
solution
3) the third to sell a product

That takes a lot of time.

Always have your
best 3 questions in
your mind

13

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
How to Introduce Your Idea? Indirect
Good
A colleague told me and idea
I read somewhere
...

Bad
I ...
Danger: Don‗t expose your ego
– people try to be nice, but
unfortunately, they lie in your
face to do that

Bad Data: Compliments
(back in the office)
―Everybody loved our idea‖
Indicator you exposed your ego

14

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Listen more, Talk less
Good
You listen mostly and ask
questions
Customer talks a lot

15

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Bad
You pitch and try to convince the
customer of anything

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
About what to talk? Specifics
Good
Their life
Specifics in the past
How do you solve X now?
Why do you bother?
What are the implications?
Talk me through the last time
that happened.
Talk me through your workflow.
What else have you tried?
Where does the money come
from?

Who else should I talk to?
 expand target group
Is there anything else I should
have asked?
 expand knowledge
16

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Bad
Your idea
Generics, Opinions
Would you ...

Bad Data: Fluff
Generics
―I always/never…‖
Danger:
Future
Who knows
―I would/will..‖
what they
Hypothetical
would do?
―I might/could…‖ People imagine
themselves
pretty different
from reality
Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
When the customer has ideas
―you aren‘t allowed to tell them what their problem is
– they aren‘t allowed to tell you what to build‖
Good
Why do you want that?
What would that let you do?
How are you coping without it?
Do you think we should push
back the launch to add that
feature, or is it something we
could add later?

17

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Bad Data: Customer Ideas
No direct data about their
problems
Bad
Great idea, we will implement it
and then hope you will buy it

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Get commitment and advancement
Good
Meeting fails

Bad
Meeting ―went well‖

you learned a lot and saved lots
of money

Meeting success
you got relevant data, e.g. you
have nailed a problem

In every conversation ask for:
Commitment — They are
showing they‘re serious by giving
up something they value such as
time, reputation, or money.
Advancement — They are
moving to the next step of your
real-world funnel and getting
closer to a sale.
18

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Otherwise:
A pipeline of zombie leads
Ending product meetings with a
compliment
Ending product meetings with no
clear next steps
Meetings which "went well"
They haven't given up anything of
value
Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Commitments
Time
Clear next meeting with known goals
Sitting down to give feedback on wireframes
Using a trial themselves for a non-trivial period

Reputation risk
Intro to peers or team
Intro to a decision maker (boss, spouse, lawyer)
Giving a public testimonial or case study

Cash
Letter of intent (non-legal but gentlemanly agreement to purchase)
Pre-order
Deposit

19

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
“EXAM”

20

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Good meeting or bad meeting?
―That‘s so cool. I love it!‖
―Looks great. Let me know when
it launches.‖
―There are a couple people I can
intro you to when you‘re ready.‖
―What are the next steps?‖
―I would definitely buy that.‖
―When can we start the trial?‖
―Can I buy the prototype?‖
―When can you come back to talk
to the rest of the team?‖

21

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

fail, no commitment
fail, no commitment
mostly fail
success
fail, no cmmitment
success in DE, faillure in US 
success
success

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Common Mistakes
In a real meeting the conversation moves to the product/solution
- bad data

You are lazy and call instead of commute
- Conversation becomes formal
- You miss body language
- You don‘t become friends, so you‘ll keep cold-calling
+ But maybe it works for you

Bad: a customer-learning-but-I-really-want-to-do-sales meeting
Good: let-me-find-out- if-you-are-a-good-advisor-by-asking-lots-ofquestions meeting
How many meetings?
3-5 for simple industry & focused customer segment
10+ and still new results?  customer segment too broad

22

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
TO WHOM TO TALK?

23

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
To Whom To Talk?

Choose your customers

Find your customers

Cold Contact

Getting too many
different results?
Go back and
choose a smaller
customer
segment.

Warm Intros

24

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Choose your customers
Start with the best smallest market and go global from there
Otherwise you cannot understand/fulfill the specific needs and everybody
asks for different features .

How to choose a sub-segment:
Why do they want it? e.g. What is their problem or goal?
Does everyone in the group have that motivation or only some of them?

Within this group, which type of this person would want it most?
Would everyone within this group buy/use it, or only some of them?

Company

Market

Initial market

Google

PhD students

EBay

The world

Collectors of PEZ dispensers

Evernote
25

The world

The world

Moms sharing recipes

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Find your customers
For each customer segment:
What are these people already doing to achieve their goal or survive
their problem?
Where can we find our demographic groups?
Where can we find people doing the above workaround behaviors?
If you cannot find them, you’ll never advertise nor sell to them
Choose the segment that scores well for
Profitable
Easy to reach
Rewarding for you to build a business around (Buying process?)

26

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Step 1: Finding initial conversations
Cold calls – 2 out of 100 will talk to you
Serendipity – there are often cool people already around you
Find a good excuse
I do my PhD on …., can I ask you some questions?

Immerse yourself in where they are
Landing pages
Organize meetups 
―If it sounds weird to unexpectedly interview
people, then that's only the case because
Speaking & teaching
you're thinking of it as an interview instead of a
Industry blogging
conversation.
Get clever 
The only thing people love talking about
more than themselves is their problems.
“The goal of cold conversations is to stop having them.”
27

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Step 2: Creating warm intros
7 degrees of separation –
―you can find anyone you need if you ask for it a couple times.―
Industry advisors
Universities (hint, hint)
Investors

Try to avoid a ―real meeting‖, if possible (keep it casual)
To get a real meeting & in a real meeting:
Vision
Framing
Weakness
Pedestal
Ask

28

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

what we aim for, broadly
why we meet you, what we expect
why we need you
a compliment
try to get more commitment

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
USE YOUR DATA

29

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Customer conversations & your team
Prepping – together with your team
Choose the right 3 scary questions (If the answer is on Google, google it!)
Due diligence on Xing/LinkedIn about your conversation partner
Write down your assumptions about a person to validate them later
Decide on what commitment you want

Doing
Who should show up
Those who make decisions (at least to some meetings)
1-2 persons: 1) talking, 2) note-taking & fixing conversation

How to write it down
Note: emotions, problems, goals, workarounds, obstacles, ideas/feature
requests, budgets/buying process, follow-up tasks, referenced
persons/companies
Maybe use 1 card for one information item

Reviewing
Review notes, update written assumptions, update 3 questions
How can you improve to learn better next time?
30

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Summary
Prepping
Segment your customers
What do we want to learn? – Your team needs to learn, not just you
Doing
Keep it casual
Ask
relevant questions
about their specific past life

Avoid bad data (compliments, fluff, …)
Reviewing
Good results
facts
commitments (time, reputation, cash) / advancement
new conversation contacts
31

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Literature
The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick
momtestbook.com and foundercentric.com
Version 1.0 from August 1, 2013

The 4 Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
Running Lean by Ash Maurya

More references: http://bit.ly/entrep-links

32

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
Information
License Information

Creative Commons License
Summary of 'The Mom Test' by Max Völkel is
licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bysa/3.0/deed.en_US).
Based on a work at momtestbook.com.

33

Dr. Max Völkel, 2013

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
EnTechnon – INSTITUT FÜR ENTREPRENEURSHIP, TECHNOLOGIEMANAGEMENT UND INNOVATION

34 KIT – Universität des Landes Baden-Württemberg und
nationales Forschungszentrum in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

Institut für Entrepreneurship, Technologie-

www.kit-gruenderschmiede.de
Management & Innovation
Information
Thanks for watching.
Now, please:
Give a comment to let me improve
Tell me what you liked and what you didn‘t like
Like this on SlideShare, Facebook, Twitter, …

Or buy the book (via my affiliate link )
The Mom Test
https://www.amazon.de/dp/1492180742/?tag=xamde01-21

35

Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation

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Similar to Here are some tips for choosing customers to talk to based on The Mom Test:- Start with the smallest viable customer segment. Focus on one specific type of customer rather than a broad range. - Choose customers who are most impacted by the problem you're trying to solve. Talk to those who struggle the most.- Look for customers who are willing to give you honest feedback, not just be polite. Friends and family may sugarcoat things.- Consider customers who are open to new ideas and willing to try new solutions. Early adopters are better than laggards. - Make sure to talk to both potential customers and non-customers. You'll learn different things from each.- Talk

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Here are some tips for choosing customers to talk to based on The Mom Test:- Start with the smallest viable customer segment. Focus on one specific type of customer rather than a broad range. - Choose customers who are most impacted by the problem you're trying to solve. Talk to those who struggle the most.- Look for customers who are willing to give you honest feedback, not just be polite. Friends and family may sugarcoat things.- Consider customers who are open to new ideas and willing to try new solutions. Early adopters are better than laggards. - Make sure to talk to both potential customers and non-customers. You'll learn different things from each.- Talk

  • 1. The Mom Test How to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea when everybody is lying to you Book by Rob Fitzpatrick Short Summary by Max Völkel v.2 2013-11-05 1 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 2. The Mom Test How to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea when everybody is lying to you – book by Rob Fitzpatrick – summary by Max Völkel EnTechnon – INSTITUT FÜR ENTREPRENEURSHIP, TECHNOLOGIEMANAGEMENT UND INNOVATION KIT – Universität des Landes Baden-Württemberg und nationales Forschungszentrum in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft www.kit-gruenderschmiede.de
  • 3. Introduction Dr. Max Völkel EnTechnon / KIT www.xam.de @xamde max.voelkel2@kit.edu 3 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 4. Introduction Content Type Icon Content Type Icon Learning Objectives 1 Information 3 Agenda 2 Attention/Important to know 1 Learning Unit 1 Questions 4 Exercise 1 Summary 1 Case Study 1 Literature 1 1 Icon designed by Brightmix 2 Icon designed by Designmodo (http://designmodo.com) from The Noun Project 3 Icon designed by Philipp Süß from The Noun Project 4 Icon designed by Juan Garces from The Noun Project 4 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 5. Learning Objectives After today‗s session you will be able to… Do better customer conversations! Based on „The Mom Test“ by Rob Fitzpatrick momtestbook.com and foundercentric.com Version 1.0 from August 1, 2013 Note: Talking to customers is a sub-topic of Customer Development. You still need to read other books for the whole story. All content is taken from the book. If it‗s wrong, I misunderstood it. 5 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 6. Agenda Introduction What is the problem? - The Mom Test How to talk? To whom to talk? Use your data Summary 6 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 7. People try to be nice. Therefore they lie in your face without realizing it. Bad data is worse than no data. E.g. „I would definitely buy that― Let‘s look at an example. THE PROBLEM 7 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 8. The Mom Test – What people say You: Mom, I have a business idea. Do you have 5 minutes? Mom: Of course, dear … You: You like your iPad and use it a lot? Mom: Sure, it‘s great. … You: Would you buy a cookbook app? Mom: I love cookbooks, sounds nice. Does it come with vegan recipes? Or something special for Xmas? … 8 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 9. The Mom Test – What people think You: Mom, I have a business idea. Do you have 5 minutes? Mom: Of course, dear I‘m proud of you and I don‘t want to hurt your feelings You: You like your iPad and use it a lot? Mom: Sure, it‘s great. I use it to check email on the sofa. You: Would you buy a cookbook app? Mom: I love cookbooks, sounds nice. Does it come with vegan recipes? Or something special for Xmas? Well, I have plenty of cookbooks. I don‘t need a computer in my kittchen – it might get dirty! But hey, if my kid made it, I‘ll try. App? I never bought an app. Don‘t you need to enter your credit card for that? Let me try to change the subject. 9 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 10. The Mom Test – How to do it right You: Mom, when have you last time used the iPad? For what? Have you ever used it in the kitchen? Have you ever bought an app? Which? Why? For how much? Do you use your cookbooks? Is there anything you dislike about them? What was the last cookbook you bought? When? Why? 10 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 11. HOW TO TALK? 11 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 12. What to Ask? Important Questions Good Imagine your company failed. Why did it fail?  questions Imagine your company is a huge success. Why?  questions Ask those questions “You should be terrified of at least one of the questions you’re asking in every conversation.” 12 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Bad Deep inside, you are afraid your idea might be crap. So you ask bogus questions. These are the 2 questions than can convince your team do use this whole process at all Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 13. How to Frame the Conversation? Casual Good: Keep it casual Ideal: One non-meeting about the 3 best questions Instead of asking ―Do you have time for a meeting with me?‖ ask simply your 3 questions, casually, during a conversation Takes maybe 5-15 minutes. Bad Customer Development advises to have 3 meetings: 1) the first about the customer and their problem 2) the second about your solution 3) the third to sell a product That takes a lot of time. Always have your best 3 questions in your mind 13 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 14. How to Introduce Your Idea? Indirect Good A colleague told me and idea I read somewhere ... Bad I ... Danger: Don‗t expose your ego – people try to be nice, but unfortunately, they lie in your face to do that Bad Data: Compliments (back in the office) ―Everybody loved our idea‖ Indicator you exposed your ego 14 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 15. Listen more, Talk less Good You listen mostly and ask questions Customer talks a lot 15 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Bad You pitch and try to convince the customer of anything Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 16. About what to talk? Specifics Good Their life Specifics in the past How do you solve X now? Why do you bother? What are the implications? Talk me through the last time that happened. Talk me through your workflow. What else have you tried? Where does the money come from? Who else should I talk to?  expand target group Is there anything else I should have asked?  expand knowledge 16 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Bad Your idea Generics, Opinions Would you ... Bad Data: Fluff Generics ―I always/never…‖ Danger: Future Who knows ―I would/will..‖ what they Hypothetical would do? ―I might/could…‖ People imagine themselves pretty different from reality Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 17. When the customer has ideas ―you aren‘t allowed to tell them what their problem is – they aren‘t allowed to tell you what to build‖ Good Why do you want that? What would that let you do? How are you coping without it? Do you think we should push back the launch to add that feature, or is it something we could add later? 17 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Bad Data: Customer Ideas No direct data about their problems Bad Great idea, we will implement it and then hope you will buy it Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 18. Get commitment and advancement Good Meeting fails Bad Meeting ―went well‖ you learned a lot and saved lots of money Meeting success you got relevant data, e.g. you have nailed a problem In every conversation ask for: Commitment — They are showing they‘re serious by giving up something they value such as time, reputation, or money. Advancement — They are moving to the next step of your real-world funnel and getting closer to a sale. 18 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Otherwise: A pipeline of zombie leads Ending product meetings with a compliment Ending product meetings with no clear next steps Meetings which "went well" They haven't given up anything of value Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 19. Commitments Time Clear next meeting with known goals Sitting down to give feedback on wireframes Using a trial themselves for a non-trivial period Reputation risk Intro to peers or team Intro to a decision maker (boss, spouse, lawyer) Giving a public testimonial or case study Cash Letter of intent (non-legal but gentlemanly agreement to purchase) Pre-order Deposit 19 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 20. “EXAM” 20 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 21. Good meeting or bad meeting? ―That‘s so cool. I love it!‖ ―Looks great. Let me know when it launches.‖ ―There are a couple people I can intro you to when you‘re ready.‖ ―What are the next steps?‖ ―I would definitely buy that.‖ ―When can we start the trial?‖ ―Can I buy the prototype?‖ ―When can you come back to talk to the rest of the team?‖ 21 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis fail, no commitment fail, no commitment mostly fail success fail, no cmmitment success in DE, faillure in US  success success Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 22. Common Mistakes In a real meeting the conversation moves to the product/solution - bad data You are lazy and call instead of commute - Conversation becomes formal - You miss body language - You don‘t become friends, so you‘ll keep cold-calling + But maybe it works for you Bad: a customer-learning-but-I-really-want-to-do-sales meeting Good: let-me-find-out- if-you-are-a-good-advisor-by-asking-lots-ofquestions meeting How many meetings? 3-5 for simple industry & focused customer segment 10+ and still new results?  customer segment too broad 22 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 23. TO WHOM TO TALK? 23 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 24. To Whom To Talk? Choose your customers Find your customers Cold Contact Getting too many different results? Go back and choose a smaller customer segment. Warm Intros 24 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 25. Choose your customers Start with the best smallest market and go global from there Otherwise you cannot understand/fulfill the specific needs and everybody asks for different features . How to choose a sub-segment: Why do they want it? e.g. What is their problem or goal? Does everyone in the group have that motivation or only some of them? Within this group, which type of this person would want it most? Would everyone within this group buy/use it, or only some of them? Company Market Initial market Google PhD students EBay The world Collectors of PEZ dispensers Evernote 25 The world The world Moms sharing recipes Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 26. Find your customers For each customer segment: What are these people already doing to achieve their goal or survive their problem? Where can we find our demographic groups? Where can we find people doing the above workaround behaviors? If you cannot find them, you’ll never advertise nor sell to them Choose the segment that scores well for Profitable Easy to reach Rewarding for you to build a business around (Buying process?) 26 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 27. Step 1: Finding initial conversations Cold calls – 2 out of 100 will talk to you Serendipity – there are often cool people already around you Find a good excuse I do my PhD on …., can I ask you some questions? Immerse yourself in where they are Landing pages Organize meetups  ―If it sounds weird to unexpectedly interview people, then that's only the case because Speaking & teaching you're thinking of it as an interview instead of a Industry blogging conversation. Get clever  The only thing people love talking about more than themselves is their problems. “The goal of cold conversations is to stop having them.” 27 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 28. Step 2: Creating warm intros 7 degrees of separation – ―you can find anyone you need if you ask for it a couple times.― Industry advisors Universities (hint, hint) Investors Try to avoid a ―real meeting‖, if possible (keep it casual) To get a real meeting & in a real meeting: Vision Framing Weakness Pedestal Ask 28 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis what we aim for, broadly why we meet you, what we expect why we need you a compliment try to get more commitment Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 29. USE YOUR DATA 29 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 30. Customer conversations & your team Prepping – together with your team Choose the right 3 scary questions (If the answer is on Google, google it!) Due diligence on Xing/LinkedIn about your conversation partner Write down your assumptions about a person to validate them later Decide on what commitment you want Doing Who should show up Those who make decisions (at least to some meetings) 1-2 persons: 1) talking, 2) note-taking & fixing conversation How to write it down Note: emotions, problems, goals, workarounds, obstacles, ideas/feature requests, budgets/buying process, follow-up tasks, referenced persons/companies Maybe use 1 card for one information item Reviewing Review notes, update written assumptions, update 3 questions How can you improve to learn better next time? 30 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 31. Summary Prepping Segment your customers What do we want to learn? – Your team needs to learn, not just you Doing Keep it casual Ask relevant questions about their specific past life Avoid bad data (compliments, fluff, …) Reviewing Good results facts commitments (time, reputation, cash) / advancement new conversation contacts 31 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 32. Literature The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick momtestbook.com and foundercentric.com Version 1.0 from August 1, 2013 The 4 Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank Running Lean by Ash Maurya More references: http://bit.ly/entrep-links 32 Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 33. Information License Information Creative Commons License Summary of 'The Mom Test' by Max Völkel is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bysa/3.0/deed.en_US). Based on a work at momtestbook.com. 33 Dr. Max Völkel, 2013 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation
  • 34. EnTechnon – INSTITUT FÜR ENTREPRENEURSHIP, TECHNOLOGIEMANAGEMENT UND INNOVATION 34 KIT – Universität des Landes Baden-Württemberg und nationales Forschungszentrum in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Institut für Entrepreneurship, Technologie- www.kit-gruenderschmiede.de Management & Innovation
  • 35. Information Thanks for watching. Now, please: Give a comment to let me improve Tell me what you liked and what you didn‘t like Like this on SlideShare, Facebook, Twitter, … Or buy the book (via my affiliate link ) The Mom Test https://www.amazon.de/dp/1492180742/?tag=xamde01-21 35 Institut für Entrepreneurship, TechnologieManagement & Innovation

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